Beekeeping is a new and growing industry in Cambodia, Many people are curious about what is required to enter the business on a full time basis.
In order to understand this, some idea of prevailing costs and selling prices are needed for the purpose of financial planning.
Production economics for honey in Cambodia
Honey at 19% moisture or less is shelf stable, if higher than this fermentation will occur.
Much of the locally produced honey is fermented.
1 liter of low moisture honey will weigh between 1.2 to 1.4 kg.
Retail price of real unheated honey is between $15- 25/kg depending on quantity.
Wholesale price is $12/kg in quantities over 100 kg.
An average conservative production level for a colony is 30 kg in a good area. For migratory hives in orchards all year, the yield can be up to 90 kgs.
The dollar yield per colony depending on where the operator sits in the value chain can be between $360 to $2200- or nothing if pesticides or disease kill your bees.
Personally,I am confident in getting $18/kg at a low production figure of 50 kg with moderate travel- so a dollar value of $900 per colony is both conservative and reasonable.
Time required annually to manage a colony is between 8 and 30 man hours depending on travel requirements and whether hive propagation is practiced.
Cost of beehives in Cambodia
Depending on quantity, number of frames and source, beehives go from $140 to a little over $200 delivered by the truckload nearly anywhere in Cambodia.
For those prepared to pick them up at the Vietnam border, prices can be as low as $70 each.
Bee farm infrastructure
Land in Mondulkiri can still be purchased around $3k/Ha. 2 Ha would be quite sufficient.
A light utility truck and trailer $8k
Dwelling, dormitories and farm buildings $25k
Power, water, earthmoving $4k
100 bee hives $14k
Equipment, tools, site consumables $8k
Capex total $57k
Salaries in year 1 will amount to $40,000
notional income in year 1: $90k